Video: Go inside China’s New Large-Scale Sodium Battery ESS

On May 11, China debuted its pioneering venture into large-scale sodium-ion battery technology with the inauguration of 10-MWh-sodium-ion battery energy storage station (BESS) in Nanning, Guangxi, in southwest China. This groundbreaking initiative is a major milestone in the transition of sodium-ion batteries from theoretical constructs to real-world applications on a massive scale.

Spearheaded by China Southern Power Grid Energy Storage, the energy storage arm of the Chinese grid operator, the station marks the inauguration of a larger 100-MWh endeavor. Upon completion, the project aims to deliver a 73 million kWh of clean power annually. This substantial output is set to cater to the energy needs of 35,000 residential customers while curbing carbon dioxide emissions by a notable 50,000 tons, as outlined in a recent statement by China Southern Power Grid Energy Storage.

The energy storage sector in China, as elsewhere, is witnessing a paradigm shift, with sodium-ion batteries emerging as a formidable contender. Boasting abundant raw material reserves that are easily extractable at a low cost, sodium-ion batteries offer superior performance at lower temperatures. They hold a distinct advantage in large-scale energy storage applications, the company stated.

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Here’s a CCTV video report on the facility:

The report quotes a technical expert from the Chinese Academy of Engineering noting that the advent of sodium-ion battery energy storage on a grand scale promises significant cost reductions. Estimates suggest a potential cost decrease ranging from 20 to 30 percent, translating to an electricity cost as low as RMB 0.2 ($0.0276) per kWh. This represents a pivotal stride towards the widespread adoption of new energy storage technologies.

The 10-MWh sodium-ion battery energy storage station showcases impressive capabilities, utilizing 210 Ah sodium-ion battery cells capable of charging up to 90 percent in just 12 minutes, as disclosed in a company statement.